United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0733964 - HQ 0950210 > HQ 0734138

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 734138

August 27, 1991

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734138 RSD


John B. Pellegrini, Esq.
Ross & Hardies
529 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10017-4608

RE: Country of origin marking of imported neckties, assembly, fabric, 19 CFR 134.46, 19 CFR 10.22

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

This is in response to your letter of April 19, 1991, on behalf of your client, Randa Corp., requesting a binding ruling on the country origin marking requirements of imported neckties assembled in the Dominican Republic from Italian fabric cut into parts in Puerto Rico.


Your client, Randa Corp., is planning to import neckties from the Dominican Republic. The fabric for the necktie facings (exterior shells) will be made in Italy and will be cut into pieces in Puerto Rico. The cut components will be sent to the Dominican Republic for assembly into the neckties. You indicate that the neckties will qualify for reduce-duty treatment under subheading 9802.00.80 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). It is proposed that the ties be labelled:

Assembled in Dominican Republic
100% Silk
Fabric from Italy

The label will be sewn on the reverse side of the neckties and the country of origin will be in letters that are no smaller than the reference to Italy.


Is the proposed country of origin marking on the neckties acceptable under 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR 10.22, if Italian fabric is cut in Puerto Rico and assembled in the Dominican Republic and the neckties are eligible for reduce-duty treatment under subheading 9802.00.80 of the HTSUS? LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the country of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302 (1940).

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.1(b) defines country of origin as the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the country of origin within the meaning of this part. A substantial transformation occurs when articles lose their identity and become new articles having a new name, character or use. United States v. Gibson-Thomsen co., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 at 270 (C.A.D 98) (1940), National Juice Products Association v. United States, 12 CIT , 701 F.Supp. 229 (CIT 1988).

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), requires that when the name of any city or locality in the U.S., other than the name of the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent the possibility of misleading or deceiving the ultimate purchaser of the article as to the actual origin of the imported goods.

Articles eligible for tariff treatment under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, pertaining to U.S. article assembled abroad, are subject to the special country of origin marking requirements of section 10.22, Customs Regulation (19 CFR 10.22). That section provides in full that:

Assembled articles entitled to the exemption [from duty] are considered products of the country of assembly for the purposes of the country of origin marking requirements of section 304, Tariff Act of 1930 as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304). If an imported assembled article is made entirely of American-made materials, the United States origin of the material may be disclosed by using a legend such "Assembled in from material of
U.S. origin", or a similar phrase.

In this case, assuming the neckties are eligible for reduced duty treatment under subheading 9802.00.80 HTSUS, the country of origin of the neckties is deemed to be the country of assembly, the Dominican Republic. Accordingly, the neckties must be marked to indicate that their country of origin is the Dominican Republic. The proposed marking does indicate that the country of origin of the neckties is the Dominican Republic. However, based on the proposed marking, the question that then arises is whether it is acceptable to also mark the neckties with additional information regarding the origin of the fabric.

In HQ 731507, October 17, 1989, Customs determined that under the provisions of section 10.22, the words "Made in", "Product of", or "Assembled in" preceding the country of assembly or merely the name of the country of assembly constitute acceptable country of origin marking. Customs also ruled that the origin of the materials comprising the assembled article may be added to the country of origin designation, whether or not the article consists entirely of U.S. materials. In that same ruling Customs also ruled that with respect to articles which are subject to the provisions of section 10.22, the phrase "Assembled in" constitutes words of similar meaning to "Made in" and "Product of" for purposes of sections 19 CFR 134.46 and 19 CFR 134.47. Customs has also held that if the article contains any foreign material, either the identification of the U.S. components must be omitted or the foreign components must be identified as well. See HQ 729938, May 13, 1987. The reasoning behind this decision was to prevent the ultimate purchaser from being misled into falsely believing that the all components are from the U.S. when they are not.

In this case we find that the identification of the origin of the fabric is not misleading and provides useful information to the consumer. Accordingly, we find the proposed marking is acceptable under 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR 10.22.

Because another country name, Italy, appears on the product, the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 are triggered. Because the country name Dominican Republic is preceded by the words "Assembled in," and is in the close proximity and will be in a comparable size as "Italy", the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 are satisfied. Accordingly, the proposed country of origin marking is acceptable.


Assuming the neckties are eligible for importation under subheading 9802.0080 HTSUS, the proposed country of origin marking on the neckties, indicating that the neckties are assembled in the Dominican Republic and that the fabric is from Italy is acceptable.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Ruling Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: